Now that New Jersey has entered Phase 2 of reopening, you may be wondering which of your favorite summertime activities are safe for you and your family, and which ones put you at the greatest risk of contracting COVID-19. In an article posted by MassLive, health experts weighed in on which pastimes were generally safe and also highlighted ones that you might want to avoid.
In general, outdoor activities that allow for more social distancing and less re-circulated air were ranked the safest. But since people can’t stay home forever, at least we can be informed about which pursuits pose the least amount of risk, and which ones should maybe be saved for later.
At the top of the activities riskiest for contracting coronavirus is going to a bar. Experts gave it a 9 out of 10, due not only to the fact that bars mean lots of people congregating inside together, but also because alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions, making them less likely to adhere to social distancing rules.
Although music concerts are a summertime favorite, they also rank high in levels of riskiness. Mimi Emig, MD, retired infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health, said “Singing is a really effective way of spreading the virus.”
Sports stadiums and gyms both ranked at 8, due to the fact that they are large, crowded places where people are emitting bodily secretions. Amusement parks were also an 8, with the precaution that rides be wiped down after every use if they are to open. “Even with risk reduction strategies, I think it’s going to be difficult,” said Matthew Sims, MD, PhD, Beaumont Health director of infectious disease research.
Swimming at a public pool was rated a 7 for risk level. Although the virus doesn’t live in chlorinated water, the close proximity of people makes this one a high risk, coupled with the fact that the CDC doesn’t advise swimmers to wear masks in the water.
Playgrounds were ranked at a 6 due to the fact that children will often cough and wipe their noses and touch surfaces with little regard toward safe personal hygiene. Movie theaters were also rated a 6. Wishing you and your family could safely take in a summer film? Consider going to a drive-in movie instead.
Activities that ranked a 5 and below included attending a dinner party at someone’s house, going to the beach and going bowling. Even safer were eating outside at a restaurant, going camping and of course going for a walk or a run.
But after three months of walking nature trails, it’s only natural that most of us are ready for a little more action. If you decide to partake in any of these activities, use common sense—stay six feet apart from those not in your party, wear a mask when feasible, and if you are sick—stay home!
# risk level